Frederic W. F. Myers and Gothic Psychology

F. W. H. Myers

“Frederic Myers will always be remembered in psychology as the pioneer who staked out a vast tract of mental wilderness and planted the flag of genuine science upon it.” With these words the far more famous American psychologist and philosopher, William James, concluded his 1901 obituary of British classicist, amateur psychologist and founding member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Frederic W. F. Myers (1843-1901). According to James, Myers’ work would set a new standard for the psychological sciences of the 20th century. More than a decade into the 21st, the name is mostly remembered by parapsychologists and historians with an interest  in the quirkier twists that psychology could have taken.

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Writing Mesmeria – comments on psycho-centrism

I’m not all done with Mesmerism yet. Besides providing a series of historical episodes that are interesting in their own right, Mesmerism also provokes some difficulties of interpretation for scholars who write about it. I’d like to draw attention to a methodological problem which arise in parts of the secondary literature.

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